The company is confident that it could reopen its casino if it reaches an agreement with the CCC.
Northern Mariana Islands.- Faced with lawsuits and calls for its licence to be revoked, Imperial Pacific International (IPI) now says it could resume operations at its casino on Saipan in the first quarter of 2023. That’s if it can reach an agreement with the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC).
According to Asian Gaming Brief, IPI has proposed changes to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) regulatory framework. It wants to replace its annual licence fee with a gaming licence fee based on a percentage of its net profit (with preset minimum and maximum amounts). It also seeks to separate the operation and regulation of IPI’s hotels from its casino operations.
The company also hopes to negotiate a waiver of license fees from 2020 and 2021 and a reduction in the amount paid at the end of the term of its casino licence agreement. IPI has also asked for the dismissal of the ongoing CNMI Supreme Court case and the CCC order that resulted in the suspension of its casino operations.
In June and July, IPI and the CCC held meetings in search of an agreement, but negotiations stalled in August. The regulator began licence revocation proceedings as a result of IPI’s failure to meet its commitments, including payment of its annual fees for its exclusive casino licence, regulatory fees and key employee licensing fees.
In May, the company reported it had signed a memorandum of agreement with South Korea’s IH Group to secure funding to help it reopen its casino in Garapan and pay some of its obligations, including payroll and outstanding payables to vendors. However, so far there has been no news regarding the agreement between the companies.